Are you in debt and in a job where you’re not paid what you’re worth? Or you have things pretty organized but just need a better system to track receipts for tax purposes? No matter what your current financial circumstances, everyone can benefit from a financial health check now and again. Make sure you’re keeping as much as you can from what you earn. Then plug up any financial “holes” in your budget (hello, streaming service you haven’t watched in months but is still auto billing your credit card). Here are a few easy steps you may take to work towards getting your financial house in order:
1. Make sure you’re maximizing all your benefits from your job
Sure, it can all seem like a blur when HR is talking about 401K matching and HSA contributions. But paying attention to those details may put extra money in your pocket. Case in point: if you have the opportunity to have an HSA (health savings account) that draws directly from your paycheck, that means that the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses may be covered by pre-tax money in the HSA. This may also lower the amount of taxes you pay on your salary.
It’s the same thing with 401K contributions. If your company offers 401K matching contributions, you’re leaving money on the table if you’re not maxing out your 401K contributions to get the biggest possible matching contribution. It’s basically like your boss saying, “Here, we’d like to give you an extra $2,500,” and you saying, “Nah, no thanks.”
Are you making sure to take advantage of every benefit? Reimbursements like those for gym memberships, WiFi bills for remote workers, and commute benefits may put extra money in your pocket. Refer back to your hiring documents, or schedule a quick call with HR to make sure you’re getting every benefit you’re entitled to.
2. Track everything you spend for a month to see patterns and waste you can cut
It’s like counting calories. Nobody likes to do it. But monitoring your spending can reveal patterns you may not see day to day. Look for things like recurring payments you may have authorized but now don’t use anymore, things like streaming services, memberships, and other services you no longer need. You may also uncover realizations like just how much all that takeout adds up.
3. If you’re looking to hit a financial goal, consider adding a side hustle
Are you saving up for a down payment for a house, a wedding, a rainy day fund, or a cool vacation? Or do you want to focus once and for all on getting out of debt? It can be hard to squeeze more out of a tight budget. If you want to make a concerted effort to earn more for a short time, a side hustle may be the way to go. Find ways you can earn money driving, or doing more of what you do for your day job. You may be surprised by how much faster you reach your goals.
4. Make a plan to get out of debt
Speaking of goals, one of the main ones is getting out of debt. The average American has nearly $100,000 in debt, according to a 2021 Experian study1. A debt-to-income ratio of more than 43% could mean that you’re feeling the squeeze as you try to stretch your paycheck. Plus if you’re carrying a lot of consumer debt, chances are that much of your money is going to interest. Using the tips above to see where you can trim your budget, as well as how you can earn more, could put you on a path to paying down debt.
5. Set up autopay – but review it regularly
Taking care of your credit score includes making sure to make all your payments on time. One way to do this is by setting up autopay for your minimum payment due on your credit cards. But be sure to stay on top of how many bills you’re auto paying, and make certain you have money in your account to cover them. Overdrafting your account could set you up for some hefty fees (although not at Quontic).
6. Make sure your insurance policies still cover what you need
If you’re a homeowner or own a car, it pays to review your coverage with your insurance broker when renewal time comes. Particularly in times of increased costs, the coverage that was fine in the past may not be enough today. Take a few moments to make sure you’ve got the right amount of coverage. It could save you headaches if you ever need to file a claim.
Taking care of these financial tasks regularly will put you on the road to greater financial health. We love to see our customers thrive and take control of their finances so that they can reach their most cherished goals.
Take a look at our savings options to find some ways to grow your money.
1Horymski, Chris. Consumer Debt Continued to Grow in 2021 Amid Economic Uncertainty”. April 29, 2022. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/consumer-debt-study/
Quontic Bank cannot and does not guarantee the information applicability or accuracy regarding your individual circumstances. This is not financial advice, nor should it constitute or be construed as instruction for any individual reader, or group of readers, to act or make a decision in any financial capacity. Seeking independent, professional consultation from a qualified and licensed expert is always the optimum avenue in making financial decisions.